Blockade

The ramshackle jumble of tumble-down trees builds a blockade at the edge of my yard. Brown, mostly brown with highlights of muted green—ivy smothered trees, frozen, dried, projecting brown as well. So brownish on brown, in fading light it’s hard to focus on any one object. Fifteen years ago, my house freshly purchased, no deadfall, … Continue reading Blockade

Slog

Slog. (verb) Work hard—toil, labor, grind, slave. Walk or move with difficulty or effort—trudge, tramp, traipse, trek, plod. Slow going. No, really, I mean slow! Two miles uphill. At first, I ran. A mile, maybe less. The hill steepens; I start my slog. My son Eli and I tried to bike this trail two weeks … Continue reading Slog

Different Lives

This short story originally appeared in the Bangalore Review. Chris My alarm shrieks. It’s 6:57. Out of bed and into yesterday’s clothes. Dizzy from alcohol and insufficient sleep, I step into the morning under-dressed.  My coat lies on the couch, the December freeze ignored in my haste. I race the clock to move my car. … Continue reading Different Lives

My Bad

I'm failing miserably. Actually, I posted it twenty-four hours ago, so I guess I've already failed. Miserably. Like everyone else in the United States, part of my past four days included thoughts about a certain Catholic high school boy and a soon-to-be-a-senior-citizen Native American. I've thought about them while driving home from work (because NPR … Continue reading My Bad

Resolve #2

Verb: Decide firmly on a course of action. Noun: Firm determination to do something. I’ve written about resolve before—last time, the noun not the verb. On this thirty-first day of the last month of 2018, an errant thunderstorm serves to remind me that climate change is real, it’s here, and it’s messing with the natural order … Continue reading Resolve #2

The Routine

​It’s a simple mechanism, the garage door lock. A spring-loaded bolt pushed through a hole in a metal rail—the rail that ​the garage door rolls along as it's opened or closed. It’s like the deadbolt on the front door. Binary, locked/unlocked, no gray area. There’s a lever to pull to release the lock. The bolt … Continue reading The Routine

YouTube

Sophie and Eli stream YouTube on their phones—their version of Saturday morning cartoons. It’s 9:00am, they just woke up; I don’t know what time they go to bed. I can’t get a straight answer out of either of them. I’m asleep by ten each night. They stare at their five-inch screens and stifle a laugh … Continue reading YouTube